by Airman 1st Class Keoni Chavarria
62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
7/29/2015 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Helping
to bring closure to a family after a service members death is an honor
many people might not experience day-to-day, but for the McChord Field
Honor Guard, it is something they deal with on a daily basis.
Recently, the McChord Field Honor Guard presented the family of Tech.
Sgt. Hugh Sherburn, a Vietnam War veteran, with an active duty honors
ceremony, July 25, at Waldport High School in Waldport, Ore.
Sherburn was an airborne radio communications analyst who went missing
in action during his tour in the Vietnam War. He was assigned to the
6994th Security Squadron and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross
with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with fifth Oak Leaf Cluster, and
Purple Heart after the incident.
Sherburn was given full service honors during the ceremony, which
included a presentation from the honor guard's pallbearer, color guard,
firing party, and bugle team.
"They are a great example and inspiration to everybody," said Brian
Norris, Bateman Funeral Homes funeral director from Oregon. "The honor
guard has been amazingly helpful and they know exactly what they are
The honor guard's pallbearer team began their trip with a visit to
Portland International Airport, Ore., to lead Sherburn off of an air
plane and into a hearse, July 24.
From there, the team prepared for the funeral ceremony which took place the next day.
At the beginning of the ceremony, the pallbearer team brought the casket from the hearse and placed it on a stand.
After bringing out the casket, the honor guards firing party fired three
volleys followed by a playing of taps by the bugle player.
According to Norris, the performances by the honor guard helps tremendously with bringing closure to the families.
"The compassion, care and the precision the honor guard performs with
really, demonstrates to the family that they respect the sacrifice their
loved one gave," he said.
Mary Jarvis, Sherburn's sister, was then presented a flag from Capt.
Brian Meredith, 627th Force Support Squadron flight commander.
"We think that the presentation the honor guard gives is wonderful,"
said Jim Neal, Oregon Coast Veterans Association vice president. "We're
glad the honor guard can come out and support this event."
The honor guard then concluded the ceremony by retiring the casket.
According to honor guard members, while the ceremony helps bring closure
to families, it also gives the teams a sense of honor in helping
"Giving our brother [in arms] and his family a final closure, with the
final ceremonial honors shows that we care about our fallen brothers and
sisters and that we will do anything for them," said Senior Airman
Angel Laureano, McChord Field Honor Guard lead trainer.
The McChord Field Honor Guard is made up of 30 Airmen who work in this
special duty for six months out a year. For more information, call the
McChord Field Honor Guard at (253) 982-3775.